Monday, March 19, 2012

How are the game stores in your area?

Over at Jestor's Mini Playhouse, there is a colorful (but PG) little rant about the various and sundry FLGS in his area. I made a comment (reposted below), but wondered what game stores are like for other people out there.

I said:
Locally, my little town has 2 game/comic stores. The first could probably get PP stuff for me, but they mainly stock Reaper stuff, and some RPGS - most of their trade is comics, and that is actually where I get my 4 color fix.

The other game store charges $5 to play. I can see why they do it, but OTOH, if I have to pay $5 to play, then I am less likely to drop another $12 or so on a warcaster or solo on impulse. (They also don't stock PP stuff - lots of board games and GW stuff.) In fact, if I started thinking about playing there on a regular basis, then the $260 per year that I would pay in table fees would almost certainly mean that on-line retailers would see most of my business, instead of the FLGS.

The nearby towns have one store that also charges a fee, and flat-out refuses to order PP stuff. (He said he might change his mind, if enough people were there playing it, on a weekly basis. Yarite.) The last one is nice, charges no fee, and until last week, could not carry any PP stuff. We played there, and continue to do so, and now that he has PP stuff in stock, we are buying from him when possible.

That is, more or less, a decent summary of gaming in this area of SW Michigan. If I am willing to drive an hour or so, I can find some nice stores, and the one where I have been hanging my dice is nice enough. I can deal with the store being less-than-clean (although dingy and filthy are bad), if the staff is pleasant and the store acts like they want my business. OTOH, it doesn't matter how nice the play area is, or how much stock there is - if the staff is rude or otherwise disagreeable, then I may do no more than walk in, buy stuff and leave. While that seems like a good deal for the store, I know that I buy more (sometimes considerably more) when I play and linger - and I run demos and the like in order to encourage more people to game. If I don't stay in the store, I'm not going to try and create more business for them, and may steer people to a friendlier store instead.

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